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Bringing in International Self-Care Day in a WILD Way!

by Michelle Konov

There’s still a bit of time until International Self-Care Day, set on the 24th of July, making it the perfect time to get a headstart on what you need! Self-care is this big, wide, generalized idea that has started to crop up recently on social media. Obviously it means caring for yourself, but how and why?

Let’s delve a bit into the WHY

Stress can affect all the systems in your body. Usually, our bodies can handle stress quite well, especially if it’s short-term. Once it becomes long-term or chronic, we start to experience a lot of adverse symptoms.

Muscle tension is a common reflex reaction to stress, as are headaches, breathing problems, cholesterol increases, and chronic fatigue. Every body reacts in different ways to stress and also in reaction to different stressors. 

Acute stress, for example from a car accident, can hit hard and fast, but chronic stress tends to build up over time to the point where we might not even notice it’s there. This type of stress often comes from our daily life and things that continue to pile up on us.

stress, burnout, tired, exhaustion, self-care
Then there’s burnout

Burnout might not seem like something amazing, but it’s a really serious experience, and one that isn’t rare at all. 66.7% of full-time employees say they have experienced burnout at some point in their careers. And it’s becoming more and more common. 

It isn’t limited to the workplace either. Stay-at-home mothers and fathers can also feel it after one too many days alone with the kid(s) or when feeling unsupported by their partner or community.

It’s when those feelings of stress, exhaustion and anxiety about your day-to-day set in again and again and again that you’ll start to feel that burnout. And it can lead to decreased physical and psychological health. 63% of people experiencing burnout are more likely to take a sick day, and 23% are more likely to visit the ER.

Physically, that exhaustion and stress continue, and you might get frequent headaches or stomach problems. Sleep might not come easy and you might even experience shortness of breath.

Internally, you’re likely to be irritable and quick to cry or anger. You might see yourself becoming unwilling to listen to other people, and you might see your attitude shifting in a more negative way. 

There’s a lot to hate about burnout and stress. It can push away the people closest to you or, at the least, worry them greatly. Relationship conflict is one of many things that can come out of not releasing the stress in your body.

There’s a lot of reasons why self-care is important, but perhaps the biggest one is to slow things down for yourself and show that you appreciate yourself. Your body and your mind, with all these stresses built up, can feel underappreciated and unloved. 

Just spending a little time on yourself every day can go a long way.

self-care, self-love, take care of yourself
Shall we look at the HOW?

Now, there’s no hard and fast rule to self-care. If there was, it would be less about the self! But there are some things our bodies do need, reliably. They are:

  • sleep
  • a balanced diet
  • water
  • breaks
  • cleanliness
  • relaxation
  • activity
  • some socializing, even for the introverts
  • creativity

Getting all of these in at once, after a busy day at the office is probably not going to happen. But that’s the magic of having more than one day in our lives! 

Here are some sustainable ways to help!

Always had trouble sleeping after a long day? Mind racing a little too fast?

Pamper yourself a bit with a pillow spray, like this one and even spray it on your eye pillow to help you fully relax into the evening. Limiting screen time for one hour before you go to bed also tends to help! And if you’re like me, asking Google or Siri to play some soothing natural sounds (thunderstorm, ocean, rain, etc.) will go a long way too.

It’s all about the combination!

Remember to drink water with some flair

This copper bottle will help remind you that you need some water in your life. Because don’t we all? Water is a basic human need, and I know for a fact that I often forget about it. [As I write this, I’m struck by the fact that I’m actually very thirsty and I haven’t had any water all day!]

We often get absorbed in the day-to-day to the point that we forget about our body’s needs. No more!

Keeping yourself and your skin clean is a great goal to have! Obviously a daily wash will go a long way, but making sure to moisturize is also really important! Let’s not forget a good sleep oil. This one is a blend of 15 botanical oils and 11 other nourishing fruit and plant extracts, vitamins, and phospholipids. It’s a great way to diminish the appearance of fine lines and age spots, too!

And don’t forget to brush your pearly-whites! These bamboo toothbrushes are not only great for the environment, they’re also 100% toxin free and ethically crafted, so that you can feel great and look great!

Relaxation can stem from just a few minutes of meditation or stretching. If you feel like shutting off your racing mind for just a little bit and getting away from those negative thoughts, then meditation might be the way to go. Grab up this meditation pillow. Not only is it super cute, but it can help improve your posture by finding alignment along your spine!

If you crave a little bit more physical exertion, then yoga might be the way. No need to do any crazy poses or difficult contortions. Do a peaceful yoga that will help stretch out your muscles! (YouTube is full of good beginner yoga videos, but personally I like this video by Yoga with Adriene). 

While you’re at it, try this banana fibre yoga mat: it’s toxin free, vegan friendly, and 100% biodegradable. Good for the planet, good for you!

It’s said that parents are more likely than non-parents to feel guilty about self-care. And single people are better at it than those in a relationship. It’s like the more time we spend around other people, the less we think about ourselves. Shocker, right? 

But it’s time to bring in a new way of thinking. Because, in this life, we should treasure ourselves too! This International Self-Care Day, make sure to take some time for yourself! You might not feel the results right away, but it sure will be worth it!

For more information on self-care and getting back to the basics with it, check out psi, a global coalition dedicated to expanding the safe and effective practice of self-care so that individuals can better manage their own health, health outcomes are improved, and health systems are better equipped to achieve universal health coverage.

self-love, self-care, love

Take a moment for yourself, because you need it more than you think!

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